Training Games: Gaming with Toddlers Under 2

February 22, 2021

by Ambie Valdés
As some of you may know, I am a mother of 17 month old twin boys (at the time of writing this). My husband and I had a decent collection of children’s games from before our babies were born, but the only game we had for toddlers was Go Away Monster!, which is labeled ages 3+ on the box. We'd played it with our friend’s daughter when she was a little under 2, but we wanted to get more games for toddlers. We found out that there are very few games for children under 3 years (probably due to babies putting everything in their mouths). But during a sale when my babies were ~14 months, we bought a bunch of games from HABA’s My Very First Games line, which are all for ages 2+. Over the past few months I've slowly been introducing the games to them, and I wanted to share how we've been playing them and how my twins enjoy them!

The games we bought are First Orchard, Here, Fishy, Fishy!, Building Site, Tidy Up!, and Hungry As A Bear. We also received Teddy’s Colors and Shapes as a gift. Due to the many cardboard pieces and more difficult gameplay, I haven’t had my babies play with Building Site and Hungry As A Bear yet, but the others they have “played” and love!

In each game review, I’ll go over how I play the game with my twins, which components I keep in the box, and a ”Chew Test“ for the components.

Overall, the HABA wooden pieces are very durable - they’ve undergone a lot of chewing and slobber without getting scratched or damaged. Most of the games also have thick cardboard pieces and/or thinner cardboard pieces (the thinness of the box). The thick cardboard pieces are also pretty durable, but can get bite marks. The thin ones can get bite marks/tears and get bent/warped.

Update May 30, 2021:
When my kids were 19 and a half months, I introduced them to our game room. Before that, they hadn’t gone into our game room much. but I finally cleaned it up and it became another room for them to explore. Instead of me choosing games to introduce to them, I let them pick out boxes they wanted to try (I put all the kid game boxes within reach). So they picked out some games that I otherwise wouldn’t have tried introducing to them! Since then they've been "playing" games by picking out boxes and then playing with the game components that I pick for them to play with (the more durable components).

Here are the reviews for each game, ordered by age I started playing with them:
 14 months
 16 months
18 months
19 months
 20 months

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